Last week, Paul Thomas Anderson released the first still image from The Master—his much anticipated follow-up to 2007′s There Will Be Blood—directly to his fan site. Unlike most publicity stills, which generally depict things that happen in the movie, the image Anderson released was actually a shot of the 65mm negative itself. In the enhanced version of the image, you could vaguely see the outline of Philip Seymour Hoffmann, who apparently plays an L. Ron Hubbard-like founder of a Scientology-like religion.
Perhaps sensing that putting out blurry, low-res, borderline indecipherable images might not be the best marketing strategy, the Weinstein Company has put out the first teaser trailer. The teaser doesn’t reveal much, but we do get a tantalizing glimpse of Joaquin Phoenix in his first post-faux-meltdown role. It’s important to remember that just prior to growing the crazy beard and trying his luck as a rapper, Phoenix gave one go his strongest performances in the underrated Two Lovers. It looks like with The Master, he’s picking up right where he left off.